Community Shop, a multi-award-winning social enterprise, has released its latest Impact Report which showcases how it has supported thousands of individuals and families across the UK through its unique, sustainable support model.

The network of seven – soon to be eight – social supermarket stores has announced it has now supported over 10,000 members, who made an average saving of £212 per month on food that would otherwise have gone to waste.

Reacting to the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, Community Shop adapted its support services by switching the learning and development programmes online. These sessions received 257,621 engagements with members accessing virtual cook clubs and development programmes, keeping people connected and on track with their development goals. 

Community Shop’s unique and deep impact approach provides communities with a hand-up, rather than a hand-out, by delivering intense social support over a sustained period of time. This enables it to deliver long-term aspiration change in communities, by empowering members to re-enter employment, training or education.

The latest Impact Report tracks and celebrates the transformative social, economic and environmental benefits delivered through the unique Community Shop model over the last year, with some of the highlights including:

  • Creating and distributing over 125,000 food and care parcels for the vulnerable and those shielding, which were tailored to specific requirements including dietary and those with new-born babies.
  • Providing over 7,300 children with free access to food during the school holidays, with 31,542 families engaging with its renowned Healthy Holiday programmes.
  • Supporting 902 members into higher education opportunities since joining Community Shop, and 642 members employment.

The value of Community Shop’s holistic provision has never been more important than during the Covid-19 pandemic, with the social enterprise scaling up to reach even more individuals and families in need with essential and immediate support, alongside putting longer term plans for social support place.

Community Shop credits its latest achievement, following recently being awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Promoting Opportunity category, on its sustainable model and close working partnerships with members, local organisations, councils and importantly its generous retailer and manufacturing partners, such as Ocado and Nestle, who donate their surplus stock.

Community Shop is currently undergoing a period of rapid and ambitious expansion, as it looks to open many more stores across the UK to reach even more people in need, and is actively looking for partners to help continue this journey.

Natalie Brown, Head of Community Shop, said:

“We are proud to offer communities a unique and sustainable food access style, which has enabled us to deliver the results we are celebrating in our latest Impact Report.

“As a social enterprise that exists to offer communities a hand-up, we have a social responsibility to ensure these opportunities are available to everyone. The foundation to this is having access to fresh, wholesome food which is affordable and readily accessible, as well as having longer term plans in place to deliver real change within the communities we support.

“The outcomes of our latest report really are testament to our brilliant members, colleagues, supportive organisations and our long-standing and generous industry partners – all of whom make the impact we deliver possible. We are really ambitious for what’s next for our social enterprise network and look forward to working with more partners to deliver brilliant outcomes.”

Steph McGinty, Managing Director, Company Shop Group said:

“At Company Shop Group, we believe that business, done right, can generate real and tangible benefits for the economy, for the planet, and for people and communities everywhere.

“We are extremely proud of what Community Shop, alongside the work of the Group, has achieved during the last year. Through utilising the power of surplus, and implementing sustainable support systems, we are delivering transformative and positive change in communities across the UK.

“We have ambitious plans to expand Community Shop’s reach and impact even further, so would really encourage any community organisations, retailers or manufacturers to get in touch so that we can work together to deliver a life-line to families.”